FA Youth Cup 3rd Round: WBA 1 Liverpool 2 (aet)

Posted by Road End Sikh on December 7, 2006, 09:52:29 AM

As usual for youth or reserve games it was freezing cold and you wondered whether anyone would turn up. In fact a healthy 401 fans were at the Hawthorns to see us kick off the defence of the FA Youth Cup, including plenty of Reds many of whom were relatives of the players.

There was a blistering start by Liverpool as well, as within 2 minutes a corner whipped in from the right was allowed to travel all the way to the back-post and Robbie Threlfall scored with a stooping header.  As with the first team, we then controlled the game without threatening a second, Jay Spearing in particular spraying the ball about and linking well in midfield.

After 27 minutes, Albion scored after a mistake by Michael Burns at left-back. He tried to play out of defence instead of clearing and was dispossessed. The cross evaded everyone, but was put back in from the left and Stefan Morrison scored from six yards.

A good effort by Spearing over the bar was the only other real effort before half-time. However, Ryan Wignall was a bit lucky to only get a yellow for what looked like a two footed lunge. He seemed to come off worse from the tackle as well, as Charlie Barnett came on for him at half-time.

We dominated the second half and missed several chances, with Ray Puterill being our most dangerous player. He had the beating of his full-back, both outside and cutting in and produced a great save from the Albion keeper with a low right-footer. It seemed we had to score and with hypothermia kicking in I was praying for no extra-time. In injury time after their keeper again made a good save, sub Lee Woodward missed a sitter, blazing a rebound over from six yards. So extra time it was and about half the 401 crowd disappeared, either not realising we had another 30 minutes or just too cold to care.

Ray Putterill nearly scored straight from the kick-off, a good dribble ending with a brave save by the West Brom keeper. He didn't have to wait long to score though and two minutes later he lashed in a 20 yard shot and the keeper misjudged it, allowing it to beat him in the middle of the goal. Why hadn't he done that a few minutes earlier and saved us the extra 30? Our ball retention and passing was excellent after that, and bar a couple of tight offsides in our favour we saw the game through comfortably.

I would say Spearing and Putterill were our best players, but Stephen Darby showed quality at right-back and the subs Barnett and Woodward improved the side. Jimmy Ryan looked cocky enough to believe he's a player but I didn't see a stand-out like Roque last year or Welsh and Mellor from a few years back, so not sure how many of the lads will make the grade at Liverpool, or even whether we are good enough to win this again. An enjoyable game anyway.

Liverpool Team: Roberts, Darby, Burns, Gaughan, Threlfall, Spearing (capt.), Wignall, Ryan, Lindfield, Flynn, Putterill

Subs used: Barnett, Woodward, Pringle
Subs not used: Behan, Mimms.   
© Road End Sikh 2006

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